/ Letter from an ambulance driver - food for thought

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Willie Ellerslike on 14 Feb 2013
Saw this and was rather moved by it. Thought it should have more exposure.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/12/banker-millions-wont-save-lives?INTCMP=SRCH
Lord_ash2000 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike: Pay isn't really about how hard you work though is it?

If it was then people the lowest manual labours, people who dig holes in roads, or shift rocks around in quarries or work down mines etc would be on the highest wages.

Pay generally is based on what your skills or talents are worth to the person paying you. If you are put at the helm of a huge and powerful organisation and as such your actions can swing the profits of that organisation by millions if not billions of pounds then it's worth a company paying that person a large amount if they believe that person has the abilities required to earn them vast sums of money.
Tall Clare - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Or, put simply, money begets money.
Tall Clare - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000:
>
> Pay generally is based on what your skills or talents are worth to the person paying you.

Even if considered like that, it's flawed - how much should you pay the person at the car accident who saves your life? Should you pay the mechanic who fixes your car more than the person who looks after your child?

RCC - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

> Even if considered like that, it's flawed - how much should you pay the person at the car accident who saves your life? Should you pay the mechanic who fixes your car more than the person who looks after your child?

Or the mechanic who finds the fault in the ambulance that the person at the accident uses to save your life. Or the banker whose financial transactions generate the tax revenue that pays for the new part for the ambulance that saves your life. Or the workman who erected the warning sign that stopped you having the accident in the 1st place, or the council official who made the decision to put the sign there...




KellyKettle - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike: Not sure exactly what he's upset about, averaged over a 40 hr working week, 15/ph is 29K a year which is 9K over the median income and 14K over the Average family income (don't ask me how median individual income can be 20k when median family income is 15K).

Ok, so being a paramedic is a (really) hard job, and very necessary, but compared to the people who are laborers,cleaners,cooks and the like for a living, they do pretty damn well for themselves...

Anyone who finds themselves comparing salaries with a tiny minority of financial services personnel who operate in extremely cash rich environments is going to feel hard done by... almost no other employer in the country has: a) positions where a single employee can add such incredible (literally???) amounts of value in a single job role b) the kind of profits and cash-flow to pay so exorbitantly.
thin bob on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:
Agreed. if ever there was a case for respect and bonuses, this is it.
PeterM - on 14 Feb 2013
Jenny C on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:

> "We take home in a gruelling year of real blood, sweat and tears what Stephen Hester earns in six days."


15/hour is more than twice the minimum wage, so in a 3 days Mr Hester earns more than someone on the minimum wage would earn in a year. Regardless of how good he is at his job, or how worthwhile that job is, how can Mr Hester justify moaning (especially in a recession) that he is under rewarded when he already earns more money than the rest of the population can dream of?


Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to KellyKettle:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike) Not sure exactly what he's upset about


Where is the author's gender stated?

I think they might have meant "remuneration" rather than "renumeration" but we may be able to sterotypically blame a Guardian sub for that one.
andy - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Jenny C:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike)
>
> [...]
>
>
> 15/hour is more than twice the minimum wage, so in a 3 days Mr Hester earns more than someone on the minimum wage would earn in a year. Regardless of how good he is at his job, or how worthwhile that job is, how can Mr Hester justify moaning (especially in a recession) that he is under rewarded when he already earns more money than the rest of the population can dream of?

Where has Hester moaned he's under-rewarded? His Chairman has said that his package is "modest" when compared to other comparable CEO jobs in a global market - which, whether you think those packages are right or not, it is.

pebbles - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000: worth? how much is your life worth? on that basis doctors,nurses, firefighters etc would be paid millions, bankers somewhat less. I think its more about CEOs etc looking after each others interests.
Lord_ash2000 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: It's not flawed what is flawed is the illusion that individual human lives are valuable in cash terms to the rest of society, they are not.

People are invaluable to those close to them, family, close friends etc, I'm sure any parent would give all they are worth to save their own child for example, but on a national population scale where people die every day in the thousands they are just a statistic to manage and cost for.

The NHS could save more lives if they could fly an air ambulance out to every case but it isn't worth it. About eight people a day die on the roads, maybe if they banned cars or forced them all to be limited at 10mph they would be saved, but it's not worth it. Less soldiers would be killed in war if they all had individual tanks but it's not worth the expense. I could go on and on.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike: I hope the "empathy police" on here don't flame him for cultivating a black sense of humour in reaction to other peoples woes.
RCC - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to pebbles:
> worth? how much is your life worth? on that basis doctors,nurses, firefighters etc would be paid millions, bankers somewhat less. I think its more about CEOs etc looking after each others interests.

There is a clear distinction between the value of a job, and the worth of the person doing the job. Just because someone is doing a valuable job (leaving aside all the problems that that assessment entails), does not mean that their skills are proportionally valuable.

The letter is written by someone who is well paid by UK standards, and staggeringly wealthy by world standards. All the criticisms he/she levels at bankers could equally well be aimed at him/her, by the vast majority of people on the planet. Reads as a self-pitying whine to me.

Lord_ash2000 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to pebbles: My life, in cash terms? To my company about 22k a year it would seem although I would argue a bit more. To the government, whatever my projected life time tax contribution is minus the public services I use (not a lot by the way).
In terms of the cost of saving my life, no more than anyone else but I reckon it's no more than about 10,000 straight off then reluctantly more if I need longer term care. I don't know you'd have to ask an NHS boss.
PeterM - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to RCC:
> (In reply to pebbles)
> [...]
> Reads as a self-pitying whine to me.

- correct.
tnewmark - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:

Thank you for sharing that letter. I too was quite impressed by it.

Looking at some of the replies on here, I was reminded again how keen people are to justify bankers salaries and bonuses. While most people seem to have an instinctive feeling that the amount bankers such as are paid is far too high, various forms of arguments are deployed to suggest that while we may feel upset by all of this, in fact it's perfectly reasonable. For example, of course he said that his salary was "modest relatively", which is different to saying it is modest. But should that word even be used? For me, it shouldn't because it is being in a sense to justify something that I, and many others, feel is inherently unfair.

If what he says is taken to be whining, what's the problem with that? Shouldn't we all be whining a little bit more? There was a lot of whining when the banks were bailed out, but now its back to business as usual. My feeling is that there is a sense of hopelessness that nothing can be changed, and the easiest thing is not to whine, and to point out all the holes in the logic of anyone who complains.

And yes, he is paid well, others are paid less well. By that argument, I assume we search the world for the poorest most desperate person and grant him the sole responsibility to whine?
Philip on 14 Feb 2013
Salary is not about how "hard" the job is, it's about how hard it is to find someone to do the job right.

That isn't to say that salaries are disproportionate for bankers.
Wiley Coyote - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:

Leaving aside the who is worth what? argument I don't find this anonymous letter terribly believeable.
In the first par the writer claims they pick up the ambulance, check it and then drive two hours to their area of cover 'in their own time'. Really? I don't believe that once they have picked up their ambulance they have not officially clocked on. Few private sector employers could get away with imposing those conditions let alone the public sector.
Then comes the hours. Get to work and check ambulance: lets call that an hour, two hour drive, (total 3) then 12 hour shift, (total 15) then presumably 2 hour drive back to base (total 17) and then clean ambulance (say another hour?) (Total 18). And they still have to get home grab some sleep and presumably do it all again tomorrow. Pull the other one!
There's a phrase in newspapers that some stories are just 'too good to check'. Usually that's reserved for stuff like 'Chocolate and red wine are good for you'. I can't help thinking this letters editor has been so chuffed with the contentthey forgot to put it thro a reality check.
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Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike: What you get paid is basically luck. Sure you have a certain agency in all of it but what you think and do comes down to circumstance too. Background, education and then strokes of luck really decide your wage. Its not as if there are only 100 people capable of being FTSE CEO's there are vast amount of people capable but being white, male, middle class with a ruthless streak helps your chances. The fact these people are then allowed to wield so much power politically then allows them to greatly increase their wages relative to everyone else. The people we have today running these companies are not 10 or 20 times more skilled than they were in the 1970s they've just consolidated their power.

The reason the ambulance people get paid what they do is because they're in the public sector, if they were private sector they could get paid far more for their services. For instance they could just follow rich people around until they crash. When this happens their unique skill and equipment would be the only thing between the rich person and death. How much then would you pay the ambulance person to live? Probably a lot more than 29k. Society should work to even out the tyranny of circumstance which grips it otherwise we might end ip paying our paramedics in cash.

Also to the person saying he was worth 22k a year to his boss. That's wrong, your only worth the cost of rehiring which for a 22k p/a employee is probably not so much. Harsh world.
RCC - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to tnewmark:


> And yes, he is paid well, others are paid less well. By that argument, I assume we search the world for the poorest most desperate person and grant him the sole responsibility to whine?

Not really, but I think it's telling that he/she is contrasting his/her own experience and salary with someone earning significantly more, whilst making no mention at all of others who do harder/ more valuable work than him/her for less money. Exactly the attitude that he/she is criticising btw.

So yes, it is fair for anyone to criticise large pay differentials, but it becomes a whine when they are so self-absorbed as to ignore entirely their own place in that scale.

Jenny C on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Jenny C)
> [...]
>
> Where has Hester moaned he's under-rewarded? His Chairman has said that his package is "modest" when compared to other comparable CEO jobs in a global market - which, whether you think those packages are right or not, it is.

Sorry my apologies to Mr Hester.

But Modest? FFS earning in a week less than the much of the population earns in a year is far from modest in my book.
Tall Clare - on 14 Feb 2013

As a vaguely linked aside, do we, the jury, believe that ambulance drivers are overpaid or that their wage is fair for the work that they do?
RCC - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Jenny C:

> But Modest? FFS earning in a week [more] than the much of the population earns in a year is far from modest in my book.


Which, funnily enough, is exactly the situation that the letter writer happens to be in.
999thAndy on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:
On the flip side, when he gets home and his kids ask "what did you do at work today daddy?" he can say "I saved a life". When Hester's kids ask the nanny what their dad does at work all day she'll say "I don't really know"

Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

What do YOU do at work all day?
999thAndy on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
Mainly programming PLCs to do stuff, nothing as rewarding as saving lives, or as we'll rewarded as banking.
Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

Also, there are indirect, intangible, unidentifiable and unquantifiable ways of saving lives. Someone designing a better catalytic converter might be indirectly saving a life. A builder repointing someone's roof might be indirectly saving a life. Emotive vocabulary does not strengthen any argument.
Jim C - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike)
> On the flip side, when he gets home and his kids ask "what did you do at work today daddy?" he can say "I saved a life". When Hester's kids ask the nanny what their dad does at work all day she'll say "I don't really know"

Stands by whilst his employees carry out fraud (would be a good start to his CV)
sweenyt - on 14 Feb 2013
Footballers get paid significantly more than almost any other group that I can think of, and in terms of actually useful services that they provide... well I can't think of any. Yet people are every so happy to slag off financial workers despite the fact that the decisions they make have potentially large impacts on every single one of us. Sure, sometimes they get it wrong, but a lot of the time they get it right, and as a result, I think at least, that whilst the wages are high, they are not out of order.

Market forces come into play here too, if there was a cap on the wages/bonuses of bankers/CEOs, a great deal have been shown to be willing to move and work abroad to continue to earn a high wage. So we'd lose a lot of skilled and useful members of the economy, which can;t be a good thing.

Finally, the author of that article will have been made aware of the levels of pay and hours of work upon applying for the job, and even if they were not, after a few years and the dawning realization that they felt undervalued, there is nothing stopping them form leaving and getting another different better paid job. Such as a CEO, because after all, everyone seems to think Hester has an easy overpaid job, so go on, do it better and take his place.
Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
Fair enough. Just cross-posted there. The "stuff" your PLCs do might (sorry to milk this one to death) indirectly save lives. My colleague has been programming a PLC in a system I project-managed, for production-line inspection of medical products. That might save a life but I'll never know about it :-)
Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to sweenyt:
> everyone seems to think Hester has an easy overpaid job, so go on, do it better and take his place.
Well said.
I had been thinking about footballers too, though it could be argued that they help to foment a community spirit and inspire exercise in youngsters....thin, yes...
999thAndy on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
At the risk of bigging myself up, as the yoof might say, I have worked on safety systems, monitoring methane in mines and fire detection in oil refineries, so I can claim to have done some good in the world, albeit less directly than a paramedic
Philip on 14 Feb 2013
Also. With or without ambulance drivers people will still die.

But where would we be without a well organized and well run banking industry?
Tall Clare - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Philip:
>
>
> But where would we be without a well organized and well run banking industry?

Do we have one of those at the moment? (smiley here ---> :-) because obviously I recognise that our banking industry is reasonably organised and reasonably run...)

999thAndy on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
I've done dispensaries as well(!)

The point I was trying to make is that although the banker gets a bigger pay cheque, he is not necessarily getting the same level of job satisfaction.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to sweenyt: Daft argument. I'm sure many people would happily have a go at Hester's job for much less money, but that nor the flip side you argued is particularly relevant to his wage. Bankers often say they'll move elsewhere but I'd like to see them find somewhere as cultured and well connected as London. The Global uber-rich could quite easily live in cheaper places than London yet they don't.If bankers wages were reduced and tax loopholes closed I am confident they'd stay and even if they didn't someone equally talented could take their place.

Furthermore, I'm not sure anyone would view the work of hedge funds or investment bankers as societally useful. Banking accounts for a sizeable proportion of GDP (10% for finacial services) but beyond commercial banking they're just accumulating capital for themselves, if they all left we'd be no poorer we'd just have less bankers, more affordable housing and so ordinary peoples residual income would go up offsetting the loss in banker spending.

I for one don't feel particularly threatened by their whining threats.
Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
>
>
> The point I was trying to make is that although the banker gets a bigger pay cheque, he is not necessarily getting the same level of job satisfaction.

Yes - apologies, I misinterpreted your hypothetical "banker's nanny can't tell banker's children what banker does"
As alluded to by someone else higher up the thread, the banker may well be saving MANY lives, very indirectly, by taxation alone.

Why is it that nobody slates the likes of Reese Witherspoon for taking a $30+ million paycheque per film? Arguably less benefit to society than a banker's work! Or even at the lower end of the scale, a relatively obscure actor taking a $50,000 cheque home for some little indie film that nobody has seen. Have they done $50,000 worth of work?
Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
>
>
> I for one don't feel particularly threatened by their whining threats.

I am a bit out of the loop on this story. Which bankers are making "whining threats"?
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Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: I object to Reese getting paid that much but you'd need spend to spend a lot more time explaining here indirect link to the last 5 years of negative (net) growth than it would take elucidating the bankers connection. I suppose this would be why people are more angry at bankers.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: Listen to the reaction every time some sort of regulation is mooted. I even read something recently in the New Statesman about a banker complaining how a 1m p/a salary isn't that much any more in London and how he'd move elsewhere if it wasn't for his children and English private schools.
Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
Here's a fun game for you all.
Name me an occupation that has a justifiable salary of more than 100k before tax, and justify that salary.
And also name me an occupation that you think SHOULD have its salary increased to more than 100k, and what you think that final salary should be.

Just so we can see where you all draw the line, and how you make your calculations, and what assumptions you are making.

What should this ambulance driver (and all ambulance drivers and paramedics) be paid, for instance? And how would you weed out the applicants that are drawn to the job only by the salary?
Dave B on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Perhaps someone who actually knows what goes on can comment, but I do know that there is a large amount of disquiet among many ambulance services regarding the conditions of service. Essential training in their own time (as in not paid) has also been mentioned as being a bone of contention.
neilh - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
There is an argument that hadge funds are useful. Basically the focus on undervalued companys, go in and sort them out to a higher value. There are plenty of othe rorgansisations who can do this from employees to the exisiting oweners, but they do not because of othe rintersts.

Banks do not accumualte wealth for themselves , they do it for their shareholders and employees as well.

You might not feel threatened by their threats, but you would certainly feel the knock on effects if they did leave.
neilh - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave B:
And their is a queue as long as your arm to get into the ambulance service.
andy - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Jenny C:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> Sorry my apologies to Mr Hester.
>
> But Modest? FFS earning in a week less than the much of the population earns in a year is far from modest in my book.

Do you understand the concept of relativity? Modest COMPARED TO HIS PEERS was what he said. And it's true - as the CEO of a more or less state owned bank he gets paid less than CEOs of similarly sized banks. It's a ton of cash, sure, but is it more than the CEO of Tesco gets paid? Or of British Aerospace?
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to neilh: I've no doubt I'd feel the effects of all the banks going, but i'm not sure I'd shed too many tears if the high risk investment arms went or at least had to pay an accurate rate of interest on the debt which finances their gambling.

I accept the loss of high risk investment arms would mean banking services wouldn't remain free. However, that seems a small price to pay compared to the cost of the bailout.
Dauphin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave B:

It happens throughout the NHS - you may get half a days pay or nothing for a training day. I'm lucky/fortunate/mobile/mercenary to work for a trust that pays for training days & specialist courses for staff from the lowliest to the top CEO.

Having said that you will pay out of your own pocket for training because many NHS trusts have little inclination to train staff - minimum levels - even the big teaching hospitals. Medics probably pay tens of thousands in post university course fees by the time they become consultants, surgeons more.

D

Lord_ash2000 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> Also to the person saying he was worth 22k a year to his boss. That's wrong, your only worth the cost of rehiring which for a 22k p/a employee is probably not so much. Harsh world.
>

You are quite right, I should have said my role in the company is worth 22k a year, whether it's me fulfilling it or someone else of equal ability is irrelevant. It is indeed a harsh world and I'm sure the same applies to paramedics, plenty of people out there able to drive a van and learn first aid I'm sure.

Tall Clare - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000:
> (In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf)
> [...]
>
> plenty of people out there able to drive a van and learn first aid I'm sure.

Is that all a paramedic does? Calling the Lemming, Caralynh and SAF to the thread...

DNS on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:


Can any of the paramedics hereabouts confirm that the two hours in the van before and after a 12 hour shift are unpaid and that a 16 hour shift, with only 12 of them paid, is actually true?

If it is, you seriously want to get out of there. If not, the letter writer's credibility is questionable.
Lord_ash2000 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: Well alright I was giving a pretty brief summary of the job but I'm sure they don't struggle to find new recruits for the role who can do the job to the standards required.
Tall Clare - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I think the aspect of the job that would grind me down would be being attacked and abused by pissheads.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> It is indeed a harsh world and I'm sure the same applies to paramedics, plenty of people out there able to drive a van and learn first aid I'm sure.

Good point. We should be careful not to overly valourise certain jobs. Just because you do explicitly useful things for an average wage it doesn't make someone a hero, it just makes them someone with a decently paid fulfilling job.

Similarly just because someones a banker it doesn't make them a wanker, but believing their high salary makes them uniquely talented is certainly misguided. People get a bit too personal about all this shit, the structure is the problem in my view, a structure which perpetuates wages that are so arbitary and ludicrously different.
Simon4 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

> On the flip side, when he gets home and his kids ask "what did you do at work today daddy?" he can say "I saved a life".

Or seeing as we are talking about the NHS, more likely "I killed someone, humiliated someone, patronised someone or ignored someone", or some combination of the above.

Hasn't Mid-Staffs and dozens of other examples cured people of their NHS worship? Obviously not.
Mr Lopez - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

And the number of applicants for an open position for 100,000pa would be counted with the fingers on one hand, i'm sure...
Frank4short - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike: Something no else has pointed out yet, at least I didn't see it, is that Hester is managing a multinational banking corporation that is majority owned by the UK government. His performance will directly affect the UK exchequer. If the performs well whilst he's in charge when it comes time for the UK govt. to reduce their holding then they will make a profit and it will aid the UK govt in reducing it's austerity measures. However if he makes an arse of it then it'll cost everyone, said ambulance driver included. This is among the primary reasons he's paid so well.
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to 999thAndy)
>
> [...]
>
> Or seeing as we are talking about the NHS, more likely "I killed someone, humiliated someone, patronised someone or ignored someone", or some combination of the above.

More likely? Hmmm...

teflonpete - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to 999thAndy)

> Why is it that nobody slates the likes of Reese Witherspoon for taking a $30+ million paycheque per film? Arguably less benefit to society than a banker's work! Or even at the lower end of the scale, a relatively obscure actor taking a $50,000 cheque home for some little indie film that nobody has seen. Have they done $50,000 worth of work?

Showbiz is a tricky one. Where I work, we have a monthly salary bill of around 350k for the company to pay employees who are all PAYE and spend their money on mortgages and goods. That's just us, providing film copies for cinemas. Then you've got cinema staff across the country, all earning modest wages but paying tax and spending their money in the economy. Then you've got people doing those jobs in other countries worldwide and a whole lot of jobs in production / post production. None of those people has a job if Joe public doesn't want to pay to sit through a movie with an actor / actress they don't like or who's performance they don't like. Ultimately, people pay to see a movie to see the actors' performances, without those, there is no film industry, no 'little people' earning a living from it and less money circulating in the economy.

Personally, I don't think that Reese Witherspoon (insert actor/ess of choice) is worth 30M per movie, but I know and work with 150 or so people who rely on her popularity for their jobs.
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Dauphin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon4:

I'd imagine because as radical empiricists much like yourself, their experiences are fairly good?

D
Tom V - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> Here's a fun game for you all.
> Name me an occupation that has a justifiable salary of more than 100k before tax, and justify that salary.


I give in. You've got me. I honestly can't think of one. And if salaries above that amount didn't exist, I reckon the ambulance driver wouldn't have been "whining" in the first place.

michaelc - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:

Basically the CEO gets paid as much as he does because he gets close to being able to set his own salary (there is some board supervision, but the board and executives are normally from the same gene-pool). A lot of (so called) activist shareholders are starting to object to this sort of looting.

For people to say "that's the way of the world, move along" is one thing. But I'm very surprised by the people making excuses for the banker's pay and criticising the driver's. The class system is alive and well in England it seems! The problem is that buried within it people find it hard to imagine that there is any alternative.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon4: Simple Simon strikes again, frothing at the mouth, offering ludicrous inferences to back up the opinions he's told to have by Paul Dacre.
Sarah G on 14 Feb 2013
The bit in the letter about the hours does not ring true-

"We often get up at 4am, check over a 999 frontline ambulance, then drive anything up to two hours to our area of cover, all in our own time. Then follows a 12-hour intensive shift,"

Yes, 12 hr shift, but no, they don't have to "often" drive to their area of cover in their own time. Checks of the 'bus are on the clock, not their own time. Are there any ambulance techs/paramedics on here who could clarify this for us?

The rest of the comments do sound right. However, don't forget that the ambulance service personnel may work 12 hour shifts, but they still only work a 37.5 hr week (averaged over a fortnight, like most of the people who work in hospitals- God, I hated the 13 hour shifts, the split shifts, the double shifts....and they were just on day shift!).

Ambulance personel are marvellous, don't get me wrong (except for the odd, very odd individual I have come across who thinks that we should euthanase all our elderly!). But the letter is either over-edited or does not give an accurate picture. As such, I can't give it much credibility.

Given the responsibility and demands made on a paramedic, the payscale is illuminating;
Band 5
Point 16 21,176
Point 17 21,798
Point 18 22,676
Point 19 23,589
Point 20 24,554
Point 21 25,528
Point 22 26,556
Point 23 27,625

(these are yearly increments- once you top out, that's it, you're stuck.)

Not much, is it? That's the same pay scale as a staff nurse.

Sx
The Lemming - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
> The bit in the letter about the hours does not ring true-
>
> "We often get up at 4am, check over a 999 frontline ambulance, then drive anything up to two hours to our area of cover, all in our own time. Then follows a 12-hour intensive shift,"

I've been following this discussion today, and can confirm that I have never done this in Lancashire nor have I heard of anybody doing this in Lancashire.


Another point to mention is that the author of the OP has not made a return visit to the discussion.
Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
>
> Another point to mention is that the author of the OP has not made a return visit to the discussion.

I think it's only his second thread and he's already had his fingers burned on his first thread (about the Sky cycling team's black outfits).
I don't see this as any sort of troll, if that is what you are getting at. Just someone who didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition :-)
cliff shasby - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short: dick
Caralynh - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Sarah G:

Nearly true. We get paid from start of shift. Mine is 7-7, days or nights. Since my truck needs to be ready, and my drugs signed out by 7am, I'm in about half an hour before. Unpaid. However that's my call. I don't have to be, but I'd rather know I have what I need for any job.
I work a 12 hr shift. Today I didn't get a break until 18.07. At 18.10 there was a broadcast radio message asking if anyone anywhere could attend s cardiac arrest about 10mins drive away. On break, we were unavailable but I went anyway. Meant a 14hr shift. Yes, we do get paid for the extra hours, and it's not so bad for me, but my crewmate is in again tomorrow and will get about 9 hrs at home before being back in.
We could have refused that last job, or rather, not volunteered. However it's why we do the job. We love the job, and unfortunately have to accept the relatively low pay (compared to responsibility) that comes with the job.
Caralynh - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Caralynh:

PS please don't call us ambulance drivers. Thanks.
birdie num num - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:
I normally phone a paramedic for a lift home when I'm paralytic.
Wiley Coyote - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> Here's a fun game for you all.
> Name me an occupation that has a justifiable salary of more than 100k before tax, and justify that salary.
>Top flight footballer.
A person's pay should represent their worthvto the company and the rarity of their skills.
Winning the PremIership or a good run in the Champions League is worth many millions of pounds to a club in gate money, TV rights, shirt sales etc . Surely the people who make that possible are entitled to a fair cut of those millions.
It may be argued that there is too much money in football but it paid voluntarily by fans who go to matches., buy shirts or tip up for their Sky Sports and so according to the laws of economics is presumably a fair price.
QED

TheHorroffice - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
BOOM! Nail, Head.
Bob Kemp - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Thats no proof. Fairness is nothing to do with the laws of economics, which only explain how markets work and don't make ethical judgements.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote: In some respects your right here, footballers do a better job than most at actually getting paid a lot of the money they earn. However, i don't buy this idea that the 'laws of economics' (whatever they are?) are a fair arbiter of wages. Football in Britain has got drastically more expensive over the last 20 years. Much more expensive to watch on TV as Sky using a huge amounts of capital have until recently had a monopoly on match screening. This has allowed them to charge ever higher subscription rates, and make very large profits, profits of this size are a sign of poor competition (which is good according to all you free marketists right?).

On the ticket sales thing, this is partly driven by the uniqueness of watching premier league football, which in turn is due to all the talented foreign players, and agressive marketing. Clubs feel they are in a global game for talent and offer ever higher wages, and fans begrudgingly pay them due to the lack of ready substitutes.

This is roughly how it works but just because that's the way it is it doesn't make it a good thing. The Players are paid their wages by vast amounts of fans (who are on the whole less well off), the players would play for less if their was some sort of cap, and in turn the fans could watch for less. This would be a good thing because the fans have a far higher propensity to spend their money in this country and on things other than property and so giving jobs to people, they'd probably pay more tax in relative terms than footballers too.

Just because something follows the 'laws of economics' and economics has created laws for all manner of things, it doesn't mean that its good for the economy.
SAF - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike)

Not read the entire thread, only got as far as this post.

> I don't find this anonymous letter terribly believeable.
> In the first part the writer claims they pick up the ambulance, check it and then drive two hours to their area of cover 'in their own time'. Really? I don't believe that once they have picked up their ambulance they have not officially clocked on. Few private sector employers could get away with imposing those conditions let alone the public sector.

I am not sure the driving 2 hours in a trust vehicle unpaid is well described. Where I work we have recently had many station closures, with much longer journey's to work for most staff, because the trust has an oblegation to reimburse us for expenses of the forced move we receive 22p a mile (public transport rate, despite buses not starting until several hours into our shifts and finishing before many of our shifts are over).

Another way in the past that our trust has got out of paying mileage on our way to overtime shifts is to get us to drive to a local station, pick up a spare vehicle and use that to travel in our own time to the station we will work from. I've done this several times, in order to work at special events...the problem has arised that crews who are not being paid at this time come across road accidents during their journey. This is not standard practice where I am, but that doesn't mean it isn't elsewhere, and might explain the letter writers comment.

Many staff check the vehicle before their shift starts when they are unpaid, since it is becoming increasingly common for us to be sent out as soon as our shift starts (there are rules to stop this, but rules seem to be made to be broken in the case of the emergency services). Problem is if we then turn up to a job and equipement is absent or not working then it comes back onto us via the Health professionals council, with the potential outcome being loss of registration/job.

> Then comes the hours. Get to work and check ambulance: lets call that an hour, two hour drive, (total 3) then 12 hour shift, (total 15) then presumably 2 hour drive back to base (total 17) and then clean ambulance (say another hour?) (Total 18). And they still have to get home grab some sleep and presumably do it all again tomorrow. Pull the other one!

An hour to check a vehicle, your having a laugh... legally we have to be allowed 10minutes to check the road worthiness of the vehicle, but that goes by the wayside on a frequent basis (unless we have done it unpaid before the shift), as for checking the lifesaving equipment, and restocking, we just have to do our best. We work for 12 hours, in that time we get a 30minute break (unpaid) that the media (more so than our managers even) but pressure on us to respond in. We are meant to get another 20minutes later in the shift, but that is frequently missed due to call volume. We then work until we finished, my longest overrun is 3 hours on top of a 12 hour night shift (I know people who have finished 6 hours late!!! We have only recently (last few months) got it agreed in writing via the unions/management that we can take our 11 hour gap between a late finish and our next shift (as legally required by EU working times directive) without fear of retribution, this is a massive step forward!!

> There's a phrase in newspapers that some stories are just 'too good to check'. Usually that's reserved for stuff like 'Chocolate and red wine are good for you'. I can't help thinking this letters editor has been so chuffed with the contentthey forgot to put it thro a reality check.

I'd say that letter is probably pretty accurate, if a little poorly written/explained!!!
JuneBob on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
This whole football thing is symptomatic of what humans in general enjoy spending money on.

We choose to spend excessively on entertaining ourselves, money we could easily otherwise spend on other things instead, like health, personal development (e.g. 1st aid course) savings/investment, charity, etc.
If people weren't spending the money watching football they'd spend it buying DVDs or something. I sincerely doubt that the money would be spent on anything constructive instead.

So, I don't blame football at all. Many people on these forums choose not to spend money on football. Other people could easily do the same. Furthermore there are plenty of local matches you can watch on a Saturday or Sunday for free, or a small fee which supports the local community club. My brother has played at a high amateur level, and I watched a few matches; pay a couple of quid and it's great fun. However the small stand is largely empty save for family and friends of the players.
There is no excuse. It's always the consumer's choice, and it's a sad reflection of society that people disproportionally prioritise spending on entertaining themselves (Sadly I don't think I'm much better, I've got some pretty pricey outdoor gear and I really should go to the dentist more frequently :-))

That's my opinion... at the moment ;-)
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to JuneBob: I don't get so self-loathing about all this stuff, I'm not a fan of having a go at consumers while letting people make ludicrous profits which they only get by destroying competition. Also my point wasn't that people would spend it more 'usefully' merely that their spending would create more jobs.

I'd much rather spend money on wine/beer/whiskey/booze in general over the dentist, I don't feel ashamed about it. After all ultimately one goes to the dentist to make oneself happy. The NHS has got healthcare covered for half the cost of the American system too.
Mark Bannan - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
> Just because something follows the 'laws of economics' and economics has created laws for all manner of things, it doesn't mean that its good for the economy.

Very well said (both here and elsewhere in this thread).

I have reliably heard that top executives now get paid on average 50 times as much as "shop floor" staff. In the 1970s, the figure was 10 times as much. Nobody can ever morally justify to me such a widening inequality gap in UK society. I personally would love to reduce such inequality, but I sometimes feel at a loss on how exactly to help bring this about - certainly at Westminster, there is no genuine viable left wing alternative to the 3 major political parties.

M
mattrm - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Sarah G:

> Given the responsibility and demands made on a paramedic, the payscale is illuminating;
> Band 5
> Point 16 21,176
<snip>
> Point 23 27,625

I'm on the same payscale. I think it's a pretty decent wage. If I was a paramedic, I wouldn't be complaining.
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
>
> Given the responsibility and demands made on a paramedic, the payscale is illuminating;
> Band 5
> Point 16 21,176
> Point 17 21,798
> Point 18 22,676
> Point 19 23,589
> Point 20 24,554
> Point 21 25,528
> Point 22 26,556
> Point 23 27,625
>
> (these are yearly increments- once you top out, that's it, you're stuck.)
>
> Not much, is it? That's the same pay scale as a staff nurse.
>
> Sx

Why not? It looks a fair salary..
SARS on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:

There's no doubt in my mind that bankers are overpaid. However, the same holds true in my opinion for footballers, x-factor "celebrities" that I've never heard of and a myriad others.

It's just the way the world is. There are three options that I see:

1. Ignore and get on
2. Whine about it/ try to change the world
3. If you can't beat them join them

I prefer option 3 myself.
Ridge - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Not right cracking for shiftwork IMHO.
Dauphin - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Ridge:

Shift allowance on top - circa 25%.


D
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Ridge: Well Sarah has in fact only shown part of the picture..

Its up to 35,000..

Good job prospects, low chance of unemployment, good job security, decent wage..

Plenty of other professions would jump at that..

For 37 hrs a week.. shifts or not.. I'd take it.. it's more than what I earn after a first class degree, a PhD and working at a world class research centre for many more hours a week.. with almost no job security, short term contracts etc.
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to SARS: I don't get why footballers are overpaid..

Golfers, F1, basketball, American football, baseball earn similar..

Film stars, musicians similar..

If people want to pay 35 a week to watch rooney.. Man U make 40 million profit a year, why shouldn't the top players get a slice of that money?

Or should the directors get it, who already have money, have a longer career and are not the ones people are paying to watch?

I understand it if teams aren't making money but when millions is going in to watch these players, film stars etc.. yeah they should get the money..
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Mark Bannan: Yes, its a frustrating time, there does seem a genuine groundswell of opinion which views the disparity as plain wrong, and this cuts across some traditional political dividing lines. Yet in Westminster in particular the popular opinion finds no clear voice, Ed Milliband gets close but I'm unsure whether I'm simply hearing what I want to hear with the one nation thing. I do wish there would be a coherent voice on this issue because its hardly cloud cookcoo land, as you point out there is clear precedent both historically and in other European states.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK: You'd think with all your previously listed qualifications you'd see past the false dichotomy you've set up.
SARS on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Well in the glorious days when banks were making 20% return on capital, I'm sure bankers justified their pay similarly.

IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: Good answer..

We call that pseudo-intellectual bullshit..

IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> Well in the glorious days when banks were making 20% return on capital, I'm sure bankers justified their pay similarly.

I think they were fine too. The system was clear, make money, get bonuses.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf) Good answer..
>
> We call that pseudo-intellectual bullshit..

Call what pseudo intellectual bullshit? Positioning two outcomes as the only possibilities to maneuver the gullible towards an extreme position by making it appear common sense or inevitable? Yeah I'd say so.
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: Yeah..

You won't talk about specific examples.. just vague criticisms.. pseudo-intellectual..

We are talking about extremes.. justifying the wages of 200,000 a week.. if such a player, through success and shirt sales, TV money etc is worth 500,000 a week he deserves that money..

Same as Brad pit.. if him being in a film makes that film take 30 million $$ he deserves a good % of that income..
Frank4short - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to cliff shasby:
> (In reply to Frank4short) dick

Wow what an illuminating, well reasoned and positive response.
k2blow - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike: surely poeple do the jobs they want to do , rather than what pay they get, in an ideal world where greed and capatilsm played second fiddle and equality for all poeple no matter how clever they were this would apply.but hey its not an ideal world and all people are not equal so just get up into the mountains its free man!
Frank4short - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: To add to your point re: football wages there's a pretty strong argument to be had about nature of the kind of people who own football clubs e.g. the hyper wealthy, the ego drive to have success and the massively additional amounts of money poured into the sport by said individuals. The case in point is pretty well summed up by how much money Roman Abramovich has plowed into Chelsea over the last 10 years.

How many top level European football clubs are actually profitable on a cash basis? As opposed to say for instance the Glazers increasing MU's brand to cover the ever increasing debts they're lumping on the club.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Eh? I wasn't talking vaguely. You said if so much money comes in, then the footballer being the star attraction deserves a good slice ? Yes, fine, i acknowledged that above. You then said this is fine, well that is something of a leap. The first judgment fits within the model but the second one assumes certain things outside it. Namely that the economic structure of society is fair. Footballers deserve a good slice of the money they attract but whether its fair for so much money to come in is a different question. You assume it is fair when setting up your two options which leads you to set up said false dichotomy.

Lets be clear this isn't a personal attack on footballers or any other highly paid sports stars, most would take that salary but it doesn't mean that one cannot suggest its excessive when critiquing the economic structure of society.
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to k2blow:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike) surely poeple do the jobs they want to do , rather than what pay they get, in an ideal world where greed and capatilsm played second fiddle and equality for all poeple no matter how clever they were this would apply.but hey its not an ideal world and all people are not equal so just get up into the mountains its free man!

This is a great point.. wages are transparent..

Teaching, nursing.. science even.. we enter knowing we get poor wages for what we do, but so what? I don't expect a pay rise. I'd like 40 hours to be enough and not to be judged off people pulling 80 hour weeks, but wage wise.. 30-35k is fine.. I live on that.
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: But its market forces..

People are paying/putting the money into those sports/industries.. therefore they should get it out..

I would like people to be less specific when talking about wages, we just get the cliche footballer, when many many other industries from which money is mainly generated by viewers get similar wages..

But these are hugely successful industries which bring in millions and billions into the UK economy..
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf) To add to your point re: football wages there's a pretty strong argument to be had about nature of the kind of people who own football clubs e.g. the hyper wealthy, the ego drive to have success and the massively additional amounts of money poured into the sport by said individuals. The case in point is pretty well summed up by how much money Roman Abramovich has plowed into Chelsea over the last 10 years.
>
> How many top level European football clubs are actually profitable on a cash basis? As opposed to say for instance the Glazers increasing MU's brand to cover the ever increasing debts they're lumping on the club.

Not sure about the Glazers.,. United are one of the best sporting businesses on the planet.. have made almost year on year profits.. yes we have debt, but we service that debt.. income exceeds outcome.. increasing the brand is just part of successful business strategy
ads.ukclimbing.com
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Market forces work in a regulated economy though. What does one regulate? This is the point, the politics in this, the economy works in the way it does due to a mixture of forces; market forces, state regulations and spending and power relations. These must be appreciated in a debate about wages, simply explaining the microeconomics of a particular transaction and saying 'there ya go, market forces, it must be fair' is to spectacularly miss the forces which are exogenous to your tiny model.

Your point about footballers is a very good one though, and as you notice i have made no personal attacks on them. There are far higher paid sportsmen in golf, motor racing etc. who do not come in for nearly as much abuse, I suspect its a background thing.
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: I know, but how do you remove those without removing incentives to create successful businesses..

I've no issue at all with high wages.. I do have issues with high wages which are unsustainable.. so I do favour regulations.. 50% of revenue as wages, some sort of fair play schemes.

However I think, in football, we are in danger of shutting the door behind us.. so the likes of Chelsea can use a Roman figure, but that door will be shut for others.

But look at pompey, huge wages, low crowds = unsustainable.

United, huge wages (but with a tight structure), but huge income, hge huge fan base, = sustainable.

Many sports the untalented have been the ones to take the money, football for example, in the past chairman, directors milked money, many latter day stars died with not much to show for them being top top players.

Exploitation.

However even today we still see the parasites which are normal, but agents taking large % of transfer fees.

But I do think the basic principle of money comes in should be proportional to money going out.. drives people on.

I'm not against regulations, I think they play a role, but we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the water and in general our capitalist economy social structure has been successful in encouraging growth.
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> Your point about footballers is a very good one though, and as you notice i have made no personal attacks on them. There are far higher paid sportsmen in golf, motor racing etc. who do not come in for nearly as much abuse, I suspect its a background thing.

I think it is class..

Tennis.
Golf.
F1.

All require money growing up. Arguably not tennis but the fact is most do.

Money and education are pretty closely linked. Most will have been schooled at top state or private schools.

Rooney, Rio, lavish spenders, past high profile mistakes, mistakes which educated lads would probably not commit.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK: I wont take issue with your summary of the business models of football clubs as I've no idea, but no doubt your correct.

You seem to argue the benefits of capitalism, fair enough, but arguing footballers current pay is fine is to accept current regulations on pay in the form of taxes. If you support this much regulation why not more, or should there be less? Just because you think market forces have a part to play in the economy it doesn't mean that the political discussion stops there, or wages as they are are fair, normal, inevitable etc.

On your final point, capitalism has brought growth over the past 200 years sure. However, over the past 30 years there has been very little real increase in the wages of the poorest and in fact since 2000 it has on average fallen in real terms. Furthermore since 1980 and neoliberalisation (if this is indeed a word?) we've had 4 recessions and growth averaging out at less than 2%, compared to the fordist/keynesian post war rate of nearer 4% this is poor. Now of of course these rates are not directly linked economic governance they occurred under. There are many forms of capitalism one can support, other than the one which is currently hegemonic.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Yes I'd agree, tennis does seem to require large periods of time abroad, there may be funding for this but where one would go about learning tennis in more deprived areas is anyone's guess.

I'm not sure footballers make worse mistakes than other young rich people its just that the middle class press probably goes easier on middle class mistakes such as (at the risk of starting a boring argument about privacy) naked billiards.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK: "..but we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the water and in general our capitalist economy social structure has been successful in encouraging growth"

Well, most of the growth we have seen over the last 30 years has been an illusionary debt fuelled consumer binge with outsourcing of manufacturing to cheaper geographies. We now spend far more than we earn/tax, and to keep the illusion going, this prescription needs to have it's dosage increased annually. The growth story looks incredibly weak, especially with the growing demand on welfare.

For me the interesting story is why people who earn little ignore their responsibilities for pension provision and line the pockets of premiership footballers. Agree we all need escapism,but as someone above said...the mountains are free ;-)
Frank4short - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
> [...]
>
> Not sure about the Glazers.,. United are one of the best sporting businesses on the planet.. have made almost year on year profits.. yes we have debt, but we service that debt.. income exceeds outcome.. increasing the brand is just part of successful business strategy

Is it cash based income though? Or are they just revaluing the brand as an appreciating asset and increasing their profits on that basis?

Didn't they re-organise their debt recently so they could all pay themselves handsome dividends out of borrowing?
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Game of Conkers:
>
>
> For me the interesting story is why people who earn little ignore their responsibilities for pension provision and line the pockets of premiership footballers. Agree we all need escapism,but as someone above said...the mountains are free ;-)

I do agree here.. I had sky sports.. decided I was never in at the weekends so switched it off.. I occassionally watch Man U, but my parents have season tickets, but I'd rarely justify paying the 30-40..

Maybe once I've stopped being able to compete/participate as much, but for now I just can't see how people can afford it.

Friends go to wednesday matches most weeks.. still 25-30 a ticket.. pie.. programme.. pre game beers.. post game beers.. easily 100 day..
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> Is it cash based income though? Or are they just revaluing the brand as an appreciating asset and increasing their profits on that basis?
>
> Didn't they re-organise their debt recently so they could all pay themselves handsome dividends out of borrowing?

I'm not overly happy.. but since they have come they haev backed ferguson.. we've spent big, had a period of relatively unmatched success..

As owners go.. I think we are in fact quite lucky..
IainRUK - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Game of Conkers: I'm not sure who we can expect to keep growing?

Even standing still is growth once you max out.. we've had periods of rapid growth, almost unexploited resources, little competition.. that era has now ended.

If a new forest starts it grows rapidly but after a while it reaches a climax state..
Frank4short - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> top executives now get paid on average 50 times as much as "shop floor" staff. In the 1970s, the figure was 10 times as much.

I'm not justifying the increase in the terms you've mentioned but I wonder how much bigger these business are now than they were then. For instance it wouldn't surprise me that through a combination of their expansionary policies, globalisation and other factors that Tesco's for instance is now more than 10 times bigger an organisation, let alone 5 times, than it was in the 70's.

Whilst I don't agree in principle with the unfettered increases of senior management salaries over the last 10-30 years. I believe some of these quotes regarding top salaries as a percentage or ratio of bottom level wages in most cases is a pretty meaningless comparison. As invariably over the period of time mentioned globally the biggest companies have been consistently expanding and consolidating. As a result of which most of the companies that tend to get mentioned in these examples are significantly bigger than they were. So it's more like comparing apples with oranges than apples with apples.

Mark Bannan - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to Mark Bannan)
I believe some of these quotes regarding top salaries as a percentage or ratio of bottom level wages in most cases is a pretty meaningless comparison.

Why?


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